Friday. Deep breath. Hope you can rest some and take in all the sweetness of this time of you. Here are this week’s favorite finds.
1) Christmas Guitar Mix – Nathan at Beyond the Guitar has arranged guitar pieces for each Christmas over the past few years. Looking forward to the one coming out this year also (a surprise so far). Here’s the collection so far. Enjoy!Photo Credit: Tyler Scheerschmidt, TSVideoProduction
YouTube Video – 3 Christmas Movie Classics on Guitar – Beyond the Guitar
YouTube Video – A Star Wars Christmas – Classical Guitar Mashup – Beyond the Guitar
YouTube Video – December Song (Peter Hollens) – Classical Guitar Cover – Beyond the Guitar
YouTube Video – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (w/ Surprise Guest!) – Beyond the Guitar
2) The Mercy of Forgiveness – Talking to my sweet mom-in-law this morning, and she was commenting on how “life is too short for unforgiveness”. Immediately the thought came to mind “and eternal life is way too long for unforgiveness”. We may have a lot to forgive, and we may think we have forgiven (willing & hoping to never see that person again in our lives)…the thing is, I’m pretty sure we know in our hearts if we have truly forgiven or not. Unforgiveness is living in the past, ruminating over the offenses and the person who did them, negative thoughts that permeate our mind. Can’t get clear of them …without forgiveness. Photo Credit: Twitter, C. S. Lewis
Peace in the present…that’s what forgiveness gives. It also frees us from the self-imposed imprisonment of unforgiveness…which imprisons us, our families/friends/coworkers – depending who all our unforgiveness includes. Forgiveness – it’s what we’re counting on from God. How can we think our reasons for unforgiveness are higher than His in forgiving us? Peace. P.S. I get how hard unforgiveness can be. So thankful my mom (in Heaven now for almost 20 years) practiced and taught us to keep short accounts with others. Short accounts, knowing we can hurt others, too…and we do.
The following is an excerpt from an excellent piece on “Forgiveness in the Family” by writer Ed Chinn:
“Every home (like every other micro-society) has a distinct culture. In other words, every home reflects a pattern of unspoken assumptions which convey the approved way to perceive, think, and feel.
One of the most important things parents can do is to create a culture of forgiveness in the home.
It begins with a gracious tongue. Parents should be quick (and sincere) to speak grace into every corner of family life. The language of graces and manners – “Please,” “thank you,” “pardon me,” and “I’m sorry” — should flavor the family conversation.
Additionally, parents should not tolerate disrespect, shrillness, selfishness or cynicism.
We didn’t dishonor our children; they couldn’t either. House rules.
[Included in our house rules as well]
Forgiveness should never be extended purely as a model or teaching tool. However, parents should be quick to apologize to each other and to the children. And, of course, children should be taught how to extend and receive forgiveness.
In view of God’s incomprehensible generosity, how can we remain locked up in the prison of resentment? We are free to forgive each other freely and generously because we have been freely and generously forgiven.” – Ed ChinnPhoto Credit: Flowers On the Rubbish Heap; Forgiveness by C.S. Lewis
Scriptures on Forgiveness: Even When It’s Hard – Sunshyne Gray
How to Let Go of Resentment and Grudges – Sunshyne Gray
7 Dangers of Embracing Mere Therapeutic Forgiveness – Mike Leake
Therapy & Theology: What Forgiveness Isn’t and Isn’t According to the Bible – Proverbs 31 Ministries; Podcast with Lysa Terkeurst – Transcript from the Podcast
Pinterest Page with Forgiveness Quotes
Photo Credit: Sunshyne Gray Christian Counseling & Coaching
3) Virtual Christmas Parties – Most all of our Christmas festivities this year have been cancelled thanks to COVID. Well, except for small family gatherings. We did decide to convert one annual friend party into a virtual “get-together”. A White Elephant gift exchange has always been part of our party tradition. How do we do that, physically distanced?
We gathered on a zoom call and chatted while we all ate our respective suppers in our respective dining or living rooms.
[A surprise element to this party was also a gender reveal. So fun!]
We had some extra gifts in case folks forgot or just didn’t come prepared…we had it covered.
Each party friend took turns choosing a gift. With Zoom, we just showed off the gift we had made or bought and kept it in view as turns were taken and gifts were secured or stolen by another.
In the days after the party, we work out a driveway visit with those who chose our White Elephant gifts. What a plus that we get to see our friends face-to-face, albeit physically distanced. Sweet times.
How about you? How have you altered your festivities? Please comment below. We all need ideas for this year, especially.
4) Festive Foods – So many holidays have festive foods attached to them. When friends of ours dropped by this past week, for a backyard visit, they brought a copy of their Christmas menu. They live in a 55+ community and will have these foods offered in their dining room. It was sumptuous with something yummy for everyone.
As we count down to Christmas, all sorts of goodies are gifted or created in our own kitchens.
What are some of your festive foods? Again, please share in Comments. The stew below isn’t attached to Christmas memories. It is a meatball tajine with memories of Morocco in every bite. Yum!
5) Forever Friends – I wanted to close with a salute to those forever friends in our lives. Because of COVID and all the restrictions, like many of you, I have not visited with friends as often or in the more usual ways. It’s been nine months now…nine months. Our friends, especially those who live out of town, have kept in touch by phone, social media messaging, and video calls. Even cards as birthdays and holidays have passed without our seeing so much of each other… or not at all. What a blessing that we have forever friends who will hang in there with us through this and whatever comes after.
On one of my rare outings to a favorite thrift store recently, I found this little Pooh ornament. The sentiment is true. So thankful for you.
That’s it for this week…hope you have a weekend full of peace and joy. Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry, Merry Christmas!
Crossroads Christmas Special with Lecrae and Amy Grant
Food Bank Collection at Home with Help from the Little Ones
To Live Remarkably, Repeat This One Affirmation Every Single Day for the Rest of Your Life – Jeff Haden
What Can You Do When You’re Flattened by Depression? Plan for It – Daryl Chen
The Rockettes Are Teaching Free Virtual Dance Classes This Holiday Season – Faith Brar
Facebook capture – the story of actor James Stewart, PTSD, and “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Video below is a walk down memory lane for me. Having lived in Cairo for many years, this was fun to watch some old familiar places.